Tuesday, September 28, 2010

His Eye Is On You

Bless the Lord o my soul and forget not all His benefits!

I was reminded of something last week that God had spoken to my heart, several years ago. (God will sometimes remind you of things that He has spoken to you in the past, to encourage you to keep moving towards your future).

But anyway, I was living in Virginia at the time (and I shared this with a couple of people before, but it's a good reminder).... Our children had this small inflatable pool.. I'm sure you know the kind, you can buy them at Wal-Mart and you can inflate them and it is just the right size for a couple of little ones up to about 7-8. But we had this pool in the backyard and normally we cover it up or empty it when it wasn't in use. But this particular time we had not done so.

I was in my bathroom at the time, praying, (yeah, wherever I could find a quiet place, that's was my prayer closet). And I was praying and asking the Lord for a breakthrough. I was tired, tired of being broke, tired of fighting, just tired of the way it appeared to be going. And I really felt like giving up. (Giving up is NEVER the solution to a problem, no matter how you choose to do so.. your problem will remain unless you deal with it). But this is how I felt at the time. And all of a sudden I heard this whimpering. I can't even explain what it sounded like, but it was like a crying out. And it was very faint. I got up, looked out my bathroom window and there in the pool was a squirrel. Somehow I guess he had fallen in the water and he was frantically trying to get out. But he couldn't!

I ran out of the bathroom and got my husband and told him about the squirrel, and said, "We got to help him. We got to help him. He's drowning." My husband then tried to get that squirrel out of the water. He tried putting a stick in the water to help the squirrel jump out, he tried cornering the squirrel to give him the ability to ease out over one spot of the pool to get out, and he tried draining some of the water out. But fear, hopelessness and frustration was all over the squirrel and all he kept doing was crying. He didn't know we were trying to help him. Eventually, my husband figured out a way to get him out and the squirrel ran off soaking wet but relieved.

As we went back in the house and I went back to my prayer closet I thought to myself that would have been a dreadful thing for my 6-year old son to see. (I was glad it was really early in the morning). I thanked God for allowing us to get that squirrel out of the water and to stop him from drowning. The poor squirrel was on the verge of drowning, and desperately crying out for help. And God made sure that I heard him.

And that is when God spoke to me. He said I may feel like I am drowning. He said, "it may feel like you are crying out and no one is hearing you. You may feel frustrated. You may feel hopeless. You may not even see how someone may be trying to help you. You may even be afraid, but I've got you. My eye is on you. I will not let you drown."

All I could do was cry. And as I did I thought about the song, His Eye Is On The Sparrow. And thought about the person that wrote that song, (I don't know who it was), and I know that they had to have an experience like this. That at some point in their life they felt like they could not go on, that they were crying out for help and nobody heard them. Nobody cared. But God.

He showed Himself. He showed them He cares. And He reminded them of how he watches over the birds of the air. So how much more does He watch over you? And I realize that it wasn't just a song. God's eye IS on the sparrow and I KNOW, He watches me.

Be blessed. Stay encouraged. Your help is on the way.

God is real and He loves you.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E



Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sick People Need A Doctor

One of my sisters in Christ posted something last week based on the Scripture‎, Matthew 9:12, “But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” The version she used, says it this way, "IT IS NOT THE HEALTHY WHO NEED A DOCTOR, BUT THE SICK!" and it jumped off the page at me because God had spoken this Word in my Spirit years ago and He reminded me of it just last week.

One night, my son Joseph was very sick and as I went to pray for him and meditate on my Scriptures for the night, God revealed something to me. Joseph had a doctor’s appointment that day and he was fine prior to going to the doctor. But after leaving the doctor’s office, he became ill. He had a headache, a fever of 102 degrees and he was lethargic, weak. God said that unaware he picked up a germ in the place that is supposed to make him well. The place that is supposed to make him well. BUT sick people go there. They go to the place that will make them well. The doctor’s office, the hospital, and the church. Sick people go to church.

And God spoke two things in this,… In this day and age where times are getting more and more evil, we’ve got to make sure we have on the full armor of God. We’ve got to be prepared. Just as in a doctor’s office, many pediatric offices have waiting areas for those that are sick patient visits and those that are well patient visits. They know that the sick will infect the healthy. And God knows that the sick will infect the healthy in the church, too. So we have to have on God’s full armor to protect us from sickness.

Sick people come to church to receive healing, but they need healing from all sorts of illnesses, things. Many come with “spirits” attached to them. Alcoholism, attitude problems, sexual impurities, all sorts of sicknesses. They come burdened down with sin. With hostility, anger, resentment, bitterness. And we who are stronger, healthy, have got to be prepared and must be ready for them. We’ve got to know that we can easily pick up a germ from anywhere, but if we are prepared we won’t keep it. We can fight it off, because God has given us the power to do so. The power to love them through it. The power to pray for them. The Bible says, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man, availeth much… God makes tremendous power available to those who seek Him and we must continue to do so, even the more, to rid ourselves of “unwanted germs” and get this, to help anyone else get rid of theirs. Which is the second thing, God said.

It is not the healthy that need a doctor it is the sick. People come to church because they recognize the need for a Savior. They recognize that without God, they cannot do anything. Without God in their life, their life really has no meaning. They recognize that life is hard and they cannot live it VICTORIOUSLY without help. They realize that they are hurting and no man on this earth can fill the void that they have so they come to church. Seeking help. Seeking God. The sick come to church for healing. To seek the doctor, the MASTER PHYSICIAN, Who is the only one that can heal them. And we as the church and even those outside of the church, should recognize and appreciate that. When we see someone fall short, someone hurting, we need to be pray for them, that’s why we see it. I said it before, God doesn't just show you stuff so you can talk about it. He shows it to you so you can do something about it. They need help. They need deliverance. And where else will they get it? The household of God. The church.

I go to church because I know I have a need for a Savior. I have a hurt that only He can heal. I want to be made better that I could be better for somebody else. To be a better mother, a better wife, a better friend, a better person. And get this, a better Christian.

I went to God that night on behalf of my son and asked Him to touch him like only He could. To raise him up and take the fever away and make him better. And then I went to bed and when I woke up, Joseph was himself again. Praise God! God answered my prayer and healed him.

I recognize that sometimes I am sick too. And Jesus is the only one who can make me whole. It is not the healthy that need a doctor, it is the sick. It is not those who are perfect that need a Savior, it is the ones who want to be perfected that need Him.

Perfect me Lord. Heal me Lord. I stand in need of you today and every day that You give me.

God is real.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No More Surrogates

I saw a movie with Bruce Willis a few months back, called The Surrogate. A surrogate is someone who takes the place of another. It’s a substitute. We often hear the term for women who want to have babies but for some reason cannot, so they hire a surrogate. Someone who will take their place in carrying the baby for them. But anyway, I saw this movie and as I shared it with my church, it stuck with me especially as the Lord began to reveal some things to me.

In the movie, normal people, every day people, live their lives through surrogates. In this sort of virtual reality box, the surrogate goes to work for them, they play for them, they cook for them, and they even go on vacation for them. People totally live their lives through their surrogate. Except for Bruce Willis, who for whatever reason chooses to return to his “normality” when he gets home. But people are able to live through these surrogates through whatever form they want, you can have a black one, you can have a white one, you can be tall, short, beautiful (as society defines it), perfect body, with no flaws whatsoever (on the outside, anyway). But you can live pretty much as anybody you desire. You actually go to the store and shop for a surrogate.

And the surrogates that most people were living through (as I saw in the movie) were entirely opposite of who the actual person was. A heavy set older man lived his life as a beautiful young lady. Now of course, this is a whole OTHER topic that we won’t get into right now, but anyway, you get my point. Whoever you wanted to be, you were able to be through this surrogate. But it was a misrepresentation of who you actually were. You were fake. False. And nothing you claimed to be.

So of course first I thought about Christians. And some of you may dislike what I am going to say, but I have to say it. (Tell the truth and shame the devil!) Some of us are fake. Some of us misrepresent who we are. Some of us do an injustice to the One we say we serve. Christ. Which may very well explain why some unbelievers get a bad taste in their mouths about Christians.

Yes, I am talking about Christians. Those who profess to know Jesus Christ. Those who profess that they have confessed Him as Lord AND Savior, but live their lives doing what they want to do. So Jesus is Savior, but He is not really Lord. You want Him to save you but you don’t want Him telling you what to do. Christians.

Some of us are living our lives as a surrogate. On the outside we may sound like a Christian to an extent, until trouble comes our way, and squeezes out what’s really on the inside of us. What we really believe comes out and it does not quite line up with what we say we believe or better yet, WHO we say we believe in.

Then I thought about people on social networking sites, in particular, Facebook. There a lot of people who are living their lives as a surrogate. They’re not real. They profess or act like or talk like they are one way, but if you know them, if you’ve seen them in person, they’re not that way at all. Or vice versa, you see them one way or know them to be one way, but “over the internet” don’t seem that way at all. Who are you? You show people who you want them to think you are, but God knows who you really are and it’s time the two of you come face to face, so that the you, you really are can be delivered from the you, you say you are.

People are hiding behind surrogates. Pretending to be something they are not. Some of them are bullies, or so they think. They say things, post statuses that they would NEVER say in a person’s presence. They’re surrogates and that makes them, cowards. False.

It’s time out for that. It’s time out for pretense. It’s time to get it right. If you believe in Jesus, then act like you do. If you want to be a bully over the web, try and be one in person and see how far that will get you. Come out, come out whoever you are. Stop hiding. And stop playing virtual reality games. No more surrogates.

At the end of the movie the computer crashes and all the people have no choice but to come out of their “boxes” and live their own lives. And you should see them, because they’re like zombies. They have been living for so long pretending to be something that they’re not, that they don’t even know who they really are. Don’t let this happen to you.

God says time is short. He knows who you are. There are no surrogates with Him. He also knows Who He is and He knows who are His. We serve a real God, and we’ve got to be real. No more surrogate Christians. No more surrogates, period.

God is good and He’s real. And He’s really good. But you’ve got to know that He wants us right and He wants us real, too. Do it today while you have the chance.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tears of a Clown

"Now if there’s a smile on my face, it’s only there trying to fool the public,
But when it comes down to fooling you, now honey, that’s quite a different subject.
Don’t let my glad expression, give you the wrong impression, cause really I’m sad.
I’m sadder than sad.
Cause you’re gone and you hurt me so bad…
Like a clown I appear to be glad.
Now there’s some sad things known to man,
but ain’t too much sadder than the tears of a clown, when there’s no one around."

These were the words I heard while riding in the car with my daughter one day. And as I sat there and forced myself to listen, the Holy Ghost grabbed me and spoke this in my spirit…

Many of you know that I am an active face-booker. Yea, I admit, I like it. I have my farm and my restaurant and my apartment and I try to keep it up to date, but for the most part it affords me the opportunity to be a witness to share Jesus and His love with anyone with an open heart. And I am so grateful for the tremendous ways that God continues to show Himself through it all.

But anyway, just a couple of days before I heard this song, I saw a post to pray for Sis. So and So, because she had attempted suicide. And immediately I began to pray for her and even posted a prayer for others to stand in agreement with me. A day or so later, someone posted that she was okay and thanked everyone for their prayers. Bless God!

I wondered what would have made this person want to kill herself. What could have been so bad, (she thought), would want to make her take her life. She had always been one who had posted Scriptures, words of encouragement and even videos to try and encourage someone else. And here she was in so much pain herself that she wanted to die. And I remember thinking and asking the Lord, why? What in the world, Lord? She’s an encourager. And that’s when it was revealed to me because then I heard this song, “Tears of A Clown.”

It’s a song by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles sang way back in, 1970??? And as I listened the words began to minister to me. Just like a clown, people can appear to be smiling, appear to have it all together, appear to have it all under control, but in a lonely room they cry the tears of a clown. A clown makes people laugh. They make people smile. That’s what they do. And they wear these painted smiles on their faces because no matter what, they know what they are called to do and know that they can’t cheer someone else up if they themselves are not cheerful. SO they put on this face that they are, but deep down inside, things can be hurting them. That no one knows about or sees. And that is what happened with this person. They are an encourager. God called them to be so. It’s a gift that He placed in them. But in order that they may carry it out, they sometimes have to put on a face that all is well with their world. Because they know that God is yet good, but somewhere between relaying that to others and applying it for themselves, it gets distorted and they end up sad inside. Even if just for a little while.

And God made me realize this…. Yes, sometimes we’ve got to encourage ourselves. And someone who has the gift of encouragement knows that all too well, and they do it most of the time. But there are times where THEY themselves need encouragement. They put so much of themselves, so much energy, so much time (often), to encourage someone else. To pray for someone else that they may be strengthened, that sometimes they can drain themselves and have nothing left, and end up in a place they should not be. God said be aware of that.

We have people all around us (hopefully) who are always trying to encourage someone. You have people that you know, that you know, that you know, that if you called on them at any given time, they would pray for you, they would have a word that would speak life to you; they would have an answer to your problem. God said take note of them. Pray for them. Give THEM a word of encouragement every now and then. It doesn’t take a lot. Acknowledge what they do and just say thank you for encouraging me today.

“Just like Pagliacci did
I try to keep my surface hid
Smiling in the public eye
but in the lonely room I cry
the tears of a clown
when there's no one around.”

Keep that in mind the next time you see or hear a word of encouragement from someone. They may be hurting on the inside and crying when there’s no one around, the tears of a clown.

God is good. And I was just brought to tears at the goodness and the realness of God, Who can use a simple song to reach us wherever we are and whoever we might be pretending to be.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E